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World of Pixelization


The World of Pixelization is a body of video installation work that was inspired by the Covid-19 World Pandemic and the series of natural disasters that happened in 2020. It is almost surreal to realize that the whole world is hitting by so many disasters at the same time in 2020. Similar to many people around the world, I was forced to stay at home, which totally changed the way I work and live. In these few months, we were solely depending on internet, news medias, social medias and other tools to learn about what’s happening around the world. However, I often ask myself, do I know the truth? Am I able to see the big picture? There are thousands of fake news, miss-leading information, cults, and conspiracies produced during the pandemic. The contents that were pushed to us, have been filtered and selected by big corporations’ AI and big data’s analysis of our interests. This can easily reshape who we are, what we know, and how we think.  


The World of Pixelization videos illustrate different parts of the world by extracting Google Earth images, and the videos were created using a programming software that imitated a satellite bird-eye view of the various cities and places around the world. Some of these places were hard hit by either the pandemic or other disasters, such as Sierra National Forest was burned 286,000 acres of forest by Creek Fire, and Wuhan was the first city hit by the Covid-19 outbreak. The date, when the event happened, were also put on the bottom of screen, which imitating Google Earth’s interface. The colors, heights and shapes of the cubic forms were all based on the topography of each location, such greeneries, mountains, desert, water, altitudes and etc. The cubic satellite videos represent how much tools and power we have to learn about the world, however, we could never truly understand these places or what happened there through internet or smart devices, because they have been altered and selected before we can see them. There is an internet or media filter on top of these information, and we will probably never get to the truth. The question becomes, ‘what is truth?’ ‘Does it matter?’ 



Tianyu Qiu

Feb. 2021

Capital Hill, 1.6.2021

Video 2:33


Capital Hill Autonomous Zone, Seattle 6.8.2020

Video 4:01


Wuhan, China 12.31.2019

Video: 2:02


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